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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

More Dangerous Fallacies on Iran

Congressman Tom Cotton became famous for sponsoring a letter to the Grand Ayatollah, which threatened Congress would nix the nuclear agreement.  I link here his interesting interview in The Atlantic, in which he explains that in security matters, it is best to eliminate problems when they are small, before they become big.  The Iran Deal May Lead to Nuclear War

Good advice.  Except some security problems never become big, or unmanageable.  We effectively manage lots of them:  our southern border is "managed,"  Cuba, a "state sponsor of terrorism" until (apparently) yesterday, has long been "managed."  Why?  Because they never become bigger problems or really that threatening.  Maybe we should have just continued to "manage" the Iraq problem, although Tom thinks we could have obtained a better outcome.

Is Iran such a problem that can be managed?  We had been doing it.  Is the worst case scenario really that Iran may start a nuclear war, as Tom warns?   Or is it really that a fifth-rate power will get an expensive weapon that isn't useful or particularly influential?

Tom thinks that Iran gains too much from this deal.  Well, it needs to gain something substantial, or there will be no deal, or a deal that Tehran has every incentive to break.  Same for us.

Anyway, the interview is worthwhile if only for the rare experience of reading a journalist's tough questions and a congressman's honest answers.  Good for both of them.
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